10 Of My Favourite Debut Albums

17 Mar 2017

In my opinion, debut albums set artists up for any future music that they make. If someone new hits the scene and their first album is an absolute killer, they're certain to build a fan base instantly and have a good idea of what to make next. I was having a look on Spotify recently and I realised that I tend to gravitate towards the debut albums of artists I love, and so the idea for this post was born! 10 is such a solid, round number, but I could definitely list more... maybe there'll be another post like this in a few months, but for now, here are 10 of my favourite debut albums in no particular order.

Funeral by Arcade Fire. Don't be put off by the title of this album. It is full of such joy, and yeah, there are a few more sombre songs, but trust me, it's packed full of happy beats and melodies. This critically-acclaimed album was introduced to me by my mum. Whenever I listen to it, my brain is flooded with memories of me singing along to it as we bomb down the motorway. Wikipedia categorise it as indie rock, art rock and baroque pop, while Metacritic have claimed it to be one of the top 100 albums of all time, so it's different, but bloody amazing. It's filled with emotions, euphoria and beauty. At times, it's bizarre and a little unpredictable, but overall, it's a really stunning album to listen to. I honestly believe it's a true masterpiece.
Listen to: Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels), Wake Up, Rebellion (Lies).

To Lose My Life by White Lies. It's definitely not a trend that I love albums with miserable names, I swear! When I first heard Farewell To The Fairground on MySpace way back in 2009, I instantly fell in love. I just had to get the album and listen to more! I'm pleased to say that it didn't disappoint. Unlike Arcade Fire, this album actually is quite dark and moody, and this is something that White Lies have carried with them throughout their albums, tweaking it as they go. This is very much so an indie rock album, with guitars, drums and heavy bass, but with quite a Joy Division-esque sound. It's got some real crowd favourites that you can belt along to and some much more gloomy, reserved songs.
Listen to: Death, To Lose My Life, Farewell To The Fairground.

Hand Built By Robots by Newton Faulkner. I'll be honest, this is the only album of Newton Faulkner's that I've listened to all the way through, but that's because I'm super duper in love with it! This album was pretty much the soundtrack to a lot of my time in secondary school and it got me through a lot of struggles. If you don't know Newton Faulkner, he's a gorgeous man with ginger dreadlocks that sings beautiful, happy folk pop songs, and if you need a proper introduction to his sound, this is the album you need to listen to. It has been certified double platinum and actually hit #1 in the UK album charts, so he definitely did something right with it. If you need cheering up, give this a listen.
Listen to: Dream Catch Me, Gone In The Morning, People Should Smile More.

An Awesome Wave by Alt-J. These guys are so out there and so different to the last three albums that I've talked about, but that's why I love them so much. An Awesome Wave is an alternative, arty, folktronica album - I usually refer to it as 'stoner music,' just to give you a bit of context. It's mostly electronic, but there's plenty of 'traditional' instruments involved too, like piano and guitar. Mixed with unique vocals and samples, you've got an Alt-J album! If it's your first time listening to Alt-J, you might listen to one track and think "what the heck is this?" but trust me, it's brilliant. I'm absolutely loving how their sound is developing and I'm getting so excited for album number three!
Listen to: Breezeblocks, Fitzpleasure, Bloodflood.

You're A Man Now, Boy by Raleigh Ritchie. I feel like I've talked about Raleigh Ritchie on here so much, so I'm pretty sure you're all aware of my views on his music. This his only album so far and he's set the bar extremely high for his next one! The best way to describe this album is alternative R&B - it's soulful with elements of rock, rap and old school R&B. At times, it's laid back and super chilled, but other times, it's raucous and demands to be heard. There's recurring themes of childhood dreams compared with adult realities, love and losing connections. Honestly, it's such a stunning piece of work and it's something that has definitely paved the way for a solid musical career for him.
Listen to: Stronger Than Ever, Never Better, You're A Man Now, Boy.
Hot Fuss by The Killers. This one is an absolute no-brainer. I've loved The Killers for as long as I can remember and this is one of their albums that I can listen to all the way through with no skips. I do prefer Sam's Town over Hot Fuss, but as far as debut albums go, this one is incredible. It's packed full of fan faves (On Top, am I right?) and dancefloor fillers that everyone knows, so it's the perfect album to play if you're around picky people. It's also the perfect car album because of all the belters on it! Seriously, I don't think anyone can resist the urge to yell along to Mr. Brightside! The Killers' sound has changed so much since this album, maturing along with them, but it's always great to go back to Hot Fuss and remember Brandon Flowers with eyeliner. Swoon.
Listen to: All These Things That I've Done, Glamorous Indie Rock And Roll, On Top.

Passive Me, Aggressive You by The Naked And Famous. This album was the sound of my summers in 2010 and 11. I first discovered this band through one of my friends at the time and thought that they were AMAZING. We went to see them at Leeds Festival, which just cemented my love for them even more. TNAF are an electronic indie group from New Zealand and their debut album is full of synthy, electronic rock sounds. I promise, you'll know at least one of the songs because it was featured on a camera advert that was everywhere. There's songs to dance to, songs to sit and reflect to, and songs that just make you feel fuzzy inside, so this album is a real winner with me.
Listen to: Young Blood, No Way, Girls Like You.

Loveblood by King Charles. It's kind of impossible to listen to King Charles without your whole body filling with joy. Wikipedia places him in the alternative, folk pop, surf rock and indie genres, and I can definitely agree with all of these! His debut album is chock full of feel-good songs and chirpy little tunes that you'll be humming to yourself all day. I have Ivory Road playing as I type this out and my boyfriend is sat next to me clapping along - that's just the King Charles effect! Also, if you ever get the chance to see him live, definitely do. He absolutely commands the stage and is just such a pleasure watch.
Listen to: Lady Percy, Ivory Road, Coco Chitty.

Lungs by Florence + The Machine. I'm sure that everyone likes at least one song by Florence + The Machine, and the chances are that that one song comes from this album. I was so obsessed with this album when it came out - it was so different to everything else that I was listening to at the time and I was captivated by Florence's voice. It definitely set the sturdy foundations for a glittering career for the group, and I always find myself excited to hear what they do next. For me, it's difficult to categorise this album, but according to Wikipedia, it's art rock, punk blues, art pop and soul. It's such a beautiful album that will always be one of my firm favourites and if you haven't listened to it yet, then why the hell not?!
Listen to: Dog Days Are Over, Howl, Cosmic Love.

Days Are Gone by Haim. Last, but most definitely not least, is a group of American pop-rock sisters called Haim. We're still waiting ever so patiently for their second album, but for now, I'm still loving their debut. It was recognised as one of the top 100 albums of the decade in 2014 by Pitchfork Media, so they definitely did something right with it! It's fairly soft rock with a bit of an R&B vibe, so it's quite easy to listen to. I like to play it in the background and always find myself tapping my foot along. It's such a solid first album, and like I said, almost four years on, we're still waiting for a second! Any time now, ladies.
Listen to: The Wire, Honey & I, Don't Save Me.

As I said in my little intro, I have a whole host of other debut albums that I love, so I may end up having to write another post like this in the future! I definitely haven't forgotten about Lana Del Rey or Hozier. If you have any other debut albums that you think I should check out, please let me know. I'm so open to listening to new music, so drop me a comment!

Whould you like to comment?

  1. Defo Haim!! i still listen to it a lot! hurry up lasses and get your second album out!! Cat Hooper

    1. YES! As much as I love Days Are Gone, I would love to hear some new stuff! x